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Summary of NSPS meetings during NSPS/MAPPS Geospatial Summit, April 13-16
Rick Howard and Jon Warren
The Geospatial Summit Sessions by NGS were very enlightening with regards to the new datums proposed in 2022. Admittedly, it is a way off - but the resources provided by NGS to roll out NAD83 and NAVD88 are no longer there. NSPS and AAGS are teaming up to do our part. We're helping develop the model law for implementing the datums in state statutes, and have a committee in place to reach out to the surveying community to help them understand and implement the new datums. Now that there is a better understanding of the significant changes with these new datums, the Geodetic Certification program NSPS and AAGS have agreed to develop and implement makes even more sense to offer to our respective members.
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NSPS Student Competition Finals held during Spring conference
Teams representing six (6) four-year degree surveying programs, and one team from a two-year degree program gathered on Monday April 13 during the joint NSPS/MAPPS conference in Crystal City, VA to give oral presentations related to their respective projects tied to this year’s topic, Error Study of Topographic Mapping Methods. Unfortunately, the team from New Jersey Institute of Technology was unable to participate in the final presentations. Central New Mexico Community College took home 1st Place in the two-degree category. The University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez took the top honor in the four-year degree program category, with the University of Akron (Ohio) taking second place, and Penn State University – Wilkes Barre taking third place. Honorable Mention awards were presented to the teams representing California State University – Fresno; Kennesaw State University/Southern Polytechnic University School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (Georgia); and Troy University (Alabama).

NSPS congratulates all of the teams for their hard work, and commends them for their demonstration of professionalism in their presentations.

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2015 NSPS Student Project of the Year and State Affiliate of the Year winners announced
NSPS is pleased to announce that the winner of the Student Project of the Year is Heather Nicholson a student at Penn State University. Congratulations to Heather! To view Heather’s project report, click here. This award is presented based on the following criteria: originality; creativity; uniqueness; practical application; and overall quality of the paper.

NSPS is also pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS) is the winner of the NSPS State Affiliate of the Year award. This is awarded based on the following: membership and services; Chapter activities

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  Why Settle For Less?

Intuicom’s exclusive Base-2-Socket™ Technology lets the RTK Bridge®-X host corrections from your base station and host them on the Internet. These corrections can be accessed by up to 10 rovers over the Internet and still broadcast corrections via radio when cell coverage isn’t available. MORE

NSPS Radio Hour — April 27, 11 a.m. EDT
Author/Surveyor Kris Kline is scheduled to join host Curt Sumner to talk about his latest adventures.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, listen to the archive of the show at Archives for each show are typically available for listening within a few days after the show airs.

During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to to win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor, Parker Davis Quik Stakes. No purchase is required to receive the gift certificate. Winners limited to once every three months.

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NSPS' voice heard in the halls of Congress
More than 400 surveying and mapping professionals convened last week in our Nation’s Capital for the first time ever during the National Surveying and Mapping Conference. NSPS members joined their professional colleagues from MAPPS in several Federal agency summit meetings and forums, committee and board meetings, technical sessions, and briefings on federal geospatial programs.

The keynote address was delivered by Jim Williams, head of the Federal Aviation Administration office responsible for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Williams summarized pending regulations and answered members’ questions about commercial use of UAS for surveying and mapping. A delegation of more than 110 NSPS and MAPPS members from some 40 states jointly went to Congress where they met with 80 Senators and more than 120 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A Congressional breakfast featured Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ). Rep. Gosar's remarks focused on a Federal land inventory and private sector utilization while also discussing his bill, H.R. 924, the Responsibility in Federal Contracting Act, reforming Davis-Bacon applicability to Federal construction projects. Also speaking was Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH), as Chairman of the House Small Business Committee he discussed QBS, government competition, Davis-Bacon, and his bill, H.R. 1481, the Small Contractors Improve Competition Act which would prohibit the use of reverse auctions for procurements of covered contracts including for architectural and engineering services, which includes surveying and mapping, as defined in section 1102 of title 40, United States Code, the Brooks Act.

Contributors to the NSPS and MAPPS political action committees were treated to a dinner featuring Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Visits to Congress focused on four issues, private sector utilization, location data for underground utilities, a Federal land inventory, and funding for the USGS program, 3DEP, to provide national elevation data.

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The White House focuses on pipeline infrastructure
On the heels of the NSPS advocacy on "Safe Corridor Utility Distribution" during visits to Capitol Hill at the National Surveying and Mapping Conference, President Obama announced an initiative to modernize energy infrastructure. The President focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure — the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities — that form the backbone of the Nation's energy system, which the Administration believes is in need of an overhaul due to the inadequacy of the current law, regulations and oversight.
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NSPS supporting POB on geospatial market study; deadline April 27
With assistance from NSPS, POB magazine is conducting a market study of the geospatial business sector. Starting this year, the POB Top 100 will annually rank the top geospatial firms in terms of revenue and provide deep analysis of all players, big or small, in the profession. All NSPS members are encouraged to complete the POB Top 100 questionnaire this week, if you have not done so already. The deadline to do so is this coming Monday, April 27. To view and complete the questionnaire, please click here. If you would like a preview document of the survey questions before clicking the survey link, please email POB editor Mike Anderson at
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Employment opportunities
Employment opportunities are posted on the NSPS website.

New listings:
Amec Foster Wheeler, Kwajalein Atoll - Drafter/Survey Field Crew Person (Temp Assignment-Marshall Islands)
Amec Foster Wheeler, Orlando, FL - Surveying and Mapping Technician
Mead & Hunt, Fargo or Bismarck, ND - Survey Technician (Limited Term)
Mead & Hunt, Fargo or Bismarck, ND - Survey Technician
Mead & Hunt, Fargo or Bismarck, ND - Survey Crew Chief
Mackie Consultants, Rosemont, IL and San Antonio, TX - Survey Project Manager
Mackie Consultants, Rosemont, IL and San Antonio, TX - Professional Land Surveyor
Mackie Consultants, Rosemont, IL and San Antonio TX - Survey Crew Chief
North Dakota State Water Commission, Bismarck, ND - Survey Crew Chief

Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at

Upcoming seminars/conferences
Due to the volume of requests we received to publish information about State Society conferences, use this link to access the information from the NSPS website.

Missed an issue of News & Views? Click here to visit the News & Views archive page.

U.S. Navy to deploy underwater drones from submarines
GPS World
The U.S. Navy plans to deploy its first underwater drones from submarines later this year, according to a report by The website quoted Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, the Navy's director of undersea warfare, who said the deployment will include the use of the Remus 600 Unmanned Underwater Vehicles to perform undersea missions around the globe.
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6 GIS top tips — How not to throw your computer out the window
An enterprise Geographic Information System can be an amazingly powerful tool: It not only represents your data spatially, but can also do magical things like track sales by shop location. And then there's asset management. Plus the opportunities to make employees happier and more productive.
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Pentagon slashes money for GPS III 'recompete'
Inside GNSS
The Air Force has sharply recast the contest to build up to 22 additional satellites to fill out the GPS III constellation, slashing the maximum funding for the first phase of a "recompete" from $200 million per award to a scant $6 million. The department is also changing the rules of engagement, opening up the full competition to GPS III prime contractor Lockheed Martin and its navigation payload supplier Exelis.
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MAPPS comments on developing best practices for use of UAS
Unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS (derisively called "drones") have already become important new technologies in America that will have important and sizable impact on the American life and economy. The economic importance of this technology has been widely discussed and will, in our view, become even more important than most current estimates suggest.
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SPAR International 2015 sets new marks for attendance
Point of Beginning
The 12th edition of SPAR International surpassed previous attendance records, event director Lisa Murray has announced. "SPAR International had 1,077 verified attendees this year, an increase of more than 200 attendees over last year," Murray reported. "The exhibit floor was also the largest in the event's history with 110 booths, including 30 companies brand-new to SPAR."
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News & Views

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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